The Los Angeles Clippers have not formally requested permission to interview Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers in the wake of widespread reports about Rivers' potential departure from Boston, but there is strong mutual interest between the parties, according to sources close to the situation.

Sources told ESPN.com that Rivers is highly intrigued by the idea of coaching the Clippers in the event that he and the Celtics part company after nine seasons together and one championship in 2008. Sources say that the Clippers, meanwhile, would immediately vault Rivers to the top of their list if he became available as they continue a coaching search that, to this point, has focused on Brian Shaw, Byron Scott and Lionel Hollins.

Earlier Wednesday, the Los Angeles Times, citing several NBA executives, reported that if Rivers decides he doesn't want to coach in Boston anymore, the Clippers would be interested in him and he would become their No. 1 choice.

ESPN.com has also learned that the Celtics and Clippers -- in an offshoot of February's Kevin Garnett-to-L.A. trade talks -- discussed expanded trade scenarios that actually could have sent both Garnett and close friend Paul Pierce to the Clippers before the league's Feb. 21 trade deadline.

Sources say that those talks, before breaking down, were centered around Boston getting back both prized Clippers guard Eric Bledsoe and young center DeAndre Jordan and did not involve Clippers star forward Blake Griffin.

It is not yet known if the Clippers intend to revive those trade discussions and pursue either Garnett or Pierce -- or both -- in conjunction with this month's NBA draft. But one source familiar with the Clippers' thinking told ESPN.com that the club plans to be "very aggressive" and "shake every tree" in terms of upgrading the roster this offseason. Acquiring Garnett or Pierce -- or both -- would naturally make Rivers even more of a natural coaching target for the Clippers than he already is.

Rivers, now regarded as one of the NBA's consensus top-five coaches after his considerable success in Boston, played one season for the Clippers on the franchise's first-ever L.A. playoff team in 1991-92 after breaking in with the Atlanta Hawks.

The Clippers, sources say, are determined to pursue a bold course with their roster this summer no matter who is hired to succeed Vinny Del Negro. Step 1 is re-signing All-Star point guard Chris Paul when he becomes an unrestricted free agent July 1, but sources say that Clippers management then intends to be aggressive in upgrading the cast around Paul and Griffin in the wake of a disappointing first-round playoff exit that cost Del Negro his job.